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Grant number like: AQ-50242-10

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AQ-50242-10Education Programs: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course GrantsSaginaw Valley State UniversityNEH Enduring Questions Course on "Evil and Evil People"7/1/2010 - 6/30/2012$25,000.00PeterBrianRose-Barry   Saginaw Valley State UniversityUniversity CenterMI48710-0001USA2010Interdisciplinary Studies, GeneralEnduring Questions: Pilot Course GrantsEducation Programs250000250000

The development of an undergraduate course for sophomores and juniors on such topics as ancient, medieval, and modern conceptions of evil; typologies of evil and wickedness; evil people and evil actions; evil characters in literature and film; Nazism and the Holocaust; and group action and genocide.

This course will explore the enduring question of evil- "Are there evil people? And what must they be like if there are'? Enquiry into this question is enquiry in moral psychology, an interdisciplinary field informed by ethics, psychology, psychiatry, history, sociology, and so forth. Students will be exposed to classical readings from moral philosophy, psychology and literature relevant to understanding evil personhood. My intent is to use works of literature to encourage students to reflect upon and discuss what evil people are like, to use philosophical works to encourage refinement and critical reflection upon those conceptions of evil personhood, and to use works from the social sciences to both determine just how plausible those conceptions of evil personhood are and to empirically inform them in light of the fact that otherwise common human beings do engage in acts of horrible cruelty and genocide.